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Performance And Cocktails - Stereophonics

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      17.05.2013 10:11
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      If you love the Stereophonics you will love this

      I absolutely love the Stereophonics, they are by far my favourite band (not just because I am a little bit in love with the extremely gorgeous lead singer, Kelly Jones) and in my opinion this is a fantastic album which I never tire of listening to.

      The Stereophonics are a welsh band who formed in 1992. They have released 8 studio albums to date, including 5 consecutive number 1 albums. The album 'Performance and Cocktails' was released in 1999, the bands second album to be released, following the success of their debut album 'Word Gets Around' in 1997 (which by the way is also a great album!)

      There are 13 tracks in all on this album
      1) Roll Up and Shine
      2) The Bartender and the Thief
      3) Hurry Up and Wait
      4) Pick a Part Thats New
      5) Just Looking
      6) Half The Lies You Tell Ain't True
      7) I Wouldnt Believe Your Radio
      8) T-shirt Sun Tan
      9) Is Yesterday Tomorrow Today?
      10) A Minute Longer
      11) She Takes Her Clothes Off
      12) Plastic California
      13) I Stopped to Fill my Car Up

      I like to listen to this album when I am driving alone because I love to sing along to all the tracks. The magic of this album for me is that the songs are all really catchy and recognisable and after only a couple of listenings you will be singing along too!

      Roll Up and Shine, The Bartender and The Thief, Pick a Part That's New, I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio, and T-Shirt Suntan are the most upbeat and lively of the songs on this album. The other songs are fairly slow but not at all dull, and really beautiful and emotive, and the last track on the album 'I stopped to fill my car up' is actually quite haunting. As well as great lyrics and beautiful vocals, the instrumental side of this album is amazing too with some fantastic guitar playing throughout. I think this album also really demonstrates the range that Kelly Jones is capable of as a vocalist, and there is real meaning and emotion in his singing.

      One of the things I love about this album is that, unlike most albums, there is not a single track that I ever skip, I really do love them all. If I absolutely had to pick I would say my 2 favourite songs on this album are:
      - The Bartender and The Thief - this one really gets me moving and screaming along with the vocals
      - Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today - this is a lot more slow paced than some of the other tracks but it is really beautiful piece
      BUT I love all the other songs too!

      This album is currently available on Amazon for £3.43 with free delivery - what are you waiting for?

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        03.11.2011 10:10
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        Pop Rock Perfection

        After starting in local pubs in their Welsh village and battling their way through the production of their first album, the Stereophonics had begun to rise through the ranks of the British music scene. With Kelly Jones at the helm the band seemed to have all the ingredients to make it to the top. Performance and Cocktails would be the album that burst them through the barracks and enter the mainstream. Brit Award nominations and for once, critical acclaim would follow and the Phonics soon found themselves in the British music elite. For many this is their finest album, with true Welsh Village pub rock at its heart. A classic album of the 90's!

        The album is packed with energy from memorable guitar riffs, pounding drums of the late Stuart Cable and Kelly Jones unique rock voice soaring over each track. Its well produced, a good length and contains no filler...just pure pop-rock tastic hits from start to finish.

        Jones has always possessed the ability to write great lyrics and here his story telling ways are evident yet again as he tells tales of small valley life, observational notes on life and fun stories. Add to this the great music, melodies and that voice and what you have is a memorable record that is still in many fans playlists to this day.

        The album kicks off with the powerful Roll up and Shine with the Phonics as rock as they have ever been. Jones voice soars with power and the band come alive to wake up the album with a statement of intent carrying on from where Word Gets Around left off. Pumping guitars and 3 minutes in you feel like you are on a rollercoaster and it doesn't stop there as Bartender and The Thief kicks in with again powerful pop-rock to get the album going. Stunning opening to the record, high energy pop rock anthems.

        The album takes a slow down next with Hurry up and Wait, a slow moving ballad esque track with acoustics and Jones at his lyrical best. Addictive choruses followed by memorable verses gives this a crowd pleasing quality and with the rock-light Pick and part that's new (perhaps the best riff's Jones has written) and the very well known Just Looking following it after only 5 songs the album has already secured its place as a classic.

        In the opening 5 tracks then there is everything people love about the Stereophonics and it continues throughout with songs bordering on pop, Half the Lies and I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio. T Shirt Sun Tan is a summery rock track that's a personal favourite with its pop rock anthems and the Phonics close the album. Add to that a few slower numbers and the album comes to a superb conclusion with I Stopped to Fill my Car up.

        The final track is Jones at his storytelling best and one of my personal favourites with a fitting, dramatic conclusion to a fine album.

        All in all this is certainly one of the UK's finest bands at their best, on form, on fire and delivering a corking pop-rock album filled to the brim with variety!

        Also on CIAO

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        13.05.2010 13:01
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        If you only buy 1 Stereophonics album, make it this one!

        Having recently seen The'Phonics at the O2 I decided that it was a good time to dig out my old copy of Performance and Cocktails and give it another spin.

        Performance and Cocktails is the 2nd studio album by The Stereophonics and the one that pretty much shot them to fame. As well as being a great live band, The Stereophonics also know how to make a pretty impressive album too.

        From the raucous beginnings of 'Roll Up and Shine' it is clear that Performance and Cocktails is going to be a fast paced and surprisingly hard hitting album. The albums catchy riffs and inventive lyrics are delivered with a decidedly hard edged approach. My favourite track on the album is undoubtedly 'T-Shirt Sun Tan', which is a fast paced, vitriolic rocker of a song.

        In my opinion The Stereophonics greatest asset is the distinctive voice of lead singer Kelly Jones. He has a classic voice for rock and roll, deep and resonant with a fairly impressive range. He just seems to exude a real sense of cool. I am slightly envious I must admit!

        As well as the fast paced rock tracks there are also some slower, more tender moments like 'Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today?' and 'She Takes Her Clothes Off'. This gives the album some depth and the change of pace is a chance for Kelly to show off his song writing talents across a number of genres.

        For me Performance and Cocktails is The Stereophonics best album to date. I love the adrenaline of the fast paced songs and their slightly bizarre lyrics. All in all this is a pretty decent effort and I would certainly recommend it to music fans of all ages. If you get a chance to see them live I would definitely recommend you do it, there raw energy is even more infectious and entertaining live.

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        22.03.2010 22:03
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        A Classic Album Everyone Should Own!

        The Stereophonics are one of my all time favourite bands. While there recent work has been a bit of a let down, there earlier albums were awesome. This was there second release. Performance And Cocktails was there biggest album and was a real classic back in the late 1990's. This one came out in 1999. I thought it was time I got round to reviewing this one, so here is what I think of each song:

        1. Roll Up And Shine - Quite a heavy start, the band start off with a fast paced song. Kelly Jones really belts out the lyrics as this song explodes into life. An decent start but not one of there best songs. 3/5

        2. The Bartender And The Thief - This is probably the song that really made the band big. Its fast and intense and sounds great. The chorus is so good and you can't help but sing along. A classic song although still not one of my favourites. 4/5

        3. Hurrry Up And Wait - After the crash bang wallop of the previous songs this one slows it right down. Its a really nice song with some crackin lyrics. I like this one and it sounds really good. 4/5

        4. Pick A Part - No were talking! Remember the video with the Mini's? A classic song and one of my all time favourite Phonics songs. The riff in the background is brilliant and the song is so catchy. A great piece of music. 5/5

        5. Just Looking - This song is pure bliss. The little intro is just magical, it just repeats over and over and is so perfect. The words are great and the song just sweeps over you. This is another classic song that so many people love. The band at there best. 5/5

        6. Half The Lies You Tell Ain't True - Another quite heavy one. It starts off at a frantic pace and really hits you hard. The chorus slows down a little and sounds a little more mellow. A good song but not a great song. 3/5

        7. I Wouldn't Believe your Radio - More magical music from the band. Quite a slow on with a great beat. Kelly really belts the lyrics out with perfection and this is another really good song. 4/5

        8. T-Shirt Sun Tan - More good Welsh rock. This is a pretty simple beat and riff but it sounds really good. Its not quite up to the standard of some songs but its still worth a listen. 3/5

        9. Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today? - Slowest song on the album. This has a really laid back feel to it. Some good lyrics make this a good song. It does just get a little boring for me though. 3/5

        10. A Minute Longer - This is possibly the low point of the album. Its chilled and quiet and maybe a little boring. The band need to pick up the pace after this one. 2/5

        11. She Takes Her Cloths Off - A strange one here. It is different from all the other songs. Its neither slow nor fast, has quite a funky beat and is a decent little song. Having said that its nothing special either. 3/5

        12. Plastic California - 'Plastic California, looks like Blackpool out of date'. A great opening line. This one really is a good song, its gets faster and louder as you listen to it and finishes with Kelly belting out the words. A very good song. 4/5

        13. I Stopped To Fill My Car Up - A very strange finish to the album. This one gets overlooked a lot. Its a funny little story with some nice piano in the background. The words are ironic and it always makes me smile. While its very different than what were used to from the band its a real classic song! 5/5

        Overall this is a brilliant album. There are a few songs that are average and maybe even called fillers, but there are so many wonderful songs on there. If your not familiar with the Phonics early work you really are missing a treat. It all went downhill after this album. So if your into your indie rock this is an album you really should own!

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          13.09.2009 13:38
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          Fun and friendly

          I like Stereophonics as inoffensive, radio friendly rock, but never really imagined that I'd think much of a whole album by them. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this, their second album, is in fact right up my street, and on the whole a lot heavier and more aggressive than I expected. It's also the album that very much put them on the map as a band to watch.

          What's most distinctive isn't the guitar work or drums, but the vocals of singer Kelly Jones - he's got a very rough, husky voice that is a nice antidote to the otherwise very jovial and friendly tunes - it makes them seem a little more genuine and rough around the edges than if they were sung by a pretty boy with a perfectly in tune voice.

          From the opening track Roll Up and Shine, things really get off to a rousing start, although one of my favourite tracks is what follows it - Bartender and the Thief, a fast paced and soulful song that tells a story with zest and is just exuberantly produced in every aspect.

          My absolute, unequivocal favourite, though, is Pick a Part That's New - it's also my favourite Stereophonics song ever. It reminds me so much of the Summer of the first year I heard it, and I find it as joyous but also slightly melancholic. It's a song I really have to be in the right mood to listen to, but I like how it can be interpretted as quite sad or overly joyous depending on your mood. It also has some really crisp guitar work.

          What I admire most about this album is that they're not afraid to try different things - the tone changes quite frequently from rousing and frenetic to calm and melodic. Whilst the slower tracks I didn't find especially memorable, they're well composed and for someone that's a bit more of a fan of the band, I'm sure they'll love it. As someone who wanted fast songs though, I was also satisfied, as there is a surplus of them herein.

          I've not heard a lot of Stereophonics, but I enjoyed this album so much more than I expected, and thus will be checking out more albums by the band.

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          30.06.2009 23:57
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          Not quite as raw as Word gets around, but a more polished grown up version.

          As I wrote a review for word gets around, and defined that album as the foundation for Perfromance and Cocktails, well, it only seems apt that i review Performance and Cocktails too.

          The album was released in March 1999 and gave the Stereophonics three straight top ten singles, 'The bartender and the thief' reaching number three, and both 'just looking' and 'pick a part thats new' reaching number four in the uk charts. The band also released 'i wouldn't believe your radio' and 'hurry up and wait' from the album.

          Performance and Cocktails was the 5th best selling album of 1999, and relly gave the phonics the recognition they well deserved as a band.

          The album follows a similar pattern to Word gets around, starts of very upbeat and rocky, then towards the middle of the album slows down a little, then gets a bit more catchy, and slows down to mellow the listener out. Though, whatever style of song you listen to on the album Kelly Jones voice just fits so perfectly and smoothly.

          This is a brilliant album and many people see it as the bands defining moment. However, I personally feel that word gets around was much rawer and better.

          Unfortunately, what could be seen as both a weakness and a strength, the steroephonics albums all seem to have thier own 'theme'. They dont really seem to stick to a 'style' of music (i know they are mainly an 'indie' band, but thier albums generally have different feels to them,) I feel this possibly reflects that bands growth and feelings at the time of writing.
          Performance and Cocktails was the second album to come from the popular welsh trio, and you can sense it was written while they were 'on a high' so to speak, following the sucess of their first album.

          To date this has possiblty been the bands most popular album, and (as seen on wikipedia) has sold over 2 million copies to date.

          The credit for all the songs on the album went to all three members. This was definatly a time when the band were still good friends and knew how to work together in perfect harmony in and out of the studio, and it reflects on the album.

          This is possibly in my opinion one of the best albums of the late 90's

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            23.06.2009 22:25
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            Stereophonics on form with some amazing tracks.

            The standard version of this album contains 13 tracks. It was released in 1999 and is Stereophonics second album.

            The cover is greyscale and depicts a kissing couple in maybe a station?! The name is block lettered. Although it has been out a while you are still looking at 5-6 pounds.

            Roll Up And Shine - this was a big singles release and has a classic Stereophonics sound to it! I like the rhymis alteration of guitar and lines in the chorus.
            The Bartender And The Thief - this is a very fast paced track for Stereophonics. The lyrics sound entertaining but I have never been able to quick make sense of them!
            Hurry Up And Wait - I keep saying this but these are all such famous tracks that you can listen to over and over. Again the lyrics sound a little contradictory, but still a good song with a steady beat and clearer singing (?!) than most others
            Pick A Part That's New - 'You can do all the things that you like to do' - quite an optimistic track!!!
            Just Looking - mellow for the band and perfect for those lazy days - chill out and stare at some space!!!
            Half The Lies You Tell Ain't True - more drums and quite a shout out track.
            I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio and T-Shirt Sun Tan - quite a sarcastic toned track
            Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today? - the epically confusing played and played track. Clique but my favourite. I find this track quite reflective!
            A Minute Longer - I like that all the track titles are absolutely connected to them - you hear the title and hear the tune. This is quite a slow sad track.
            She Takes Her Clothes Off - a track about a prostitute- quite contemplatory
            Plastic California - strong drum beat and a comment on society.
            I Stopped To Fill My Car Up - perfect song for driving around not quite knowing where you are going.

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            22.08.2008 22:08
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            Great Welsh rock 'n' roll

            Released in 1999 Performance and Cocktails was the second studio album to come from Welsh rockers the Stereophonics. After their debut 'Word Gets Around' it was clear that the trio, led by singer and guitarist Kelly Jones, were letting their experiences of touring influence their follow up record. The debut spoke of life in small town Wales, Perormance and Cocktails stepped out into the big wide world.

            The record spawned five singles:
            'The Bartender and the Thief' - A straight forward rock song about a lesbian and a barman.
            'Just Looking' - A lovely more ballady feel to this one - stand out track on the album
            'Pick a Part that's New' - Catchy little pop/rock song
            'Wouldn't believe Your Radio' - An acoustic style song
            'Hurry up and wait' - A slower more sombre song

            The rest of the songs are also a good mix of slow emotional numbers, and faster rockier ones.

            You can buy the cd for £4.99 with free postage from Play.com or look out for a bargain in the shops.

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            11.07.2003 20:25
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            The Stereophonics followed up the 1997 debut album Word Gets Around with an album almost its equal, Performance and Cocktails. The expectation was high to see how the Phonics would or even if they could make a better album. The result? Better no, As Good? Definitely. They had gone from being the Tragic Love Company playing working men’s clubs to being the Stereophonics, playing Wembley and the Millenium Stadium. The reason for writing this op is the release of the Phonics 4th album, You Gotta Go There To Come Back, which hopefully I’ll get to by Thursday. The band have a much larger fan base now than they did back in 1999 when this was released. Hopefully this will encourage a few more people to give this album a listen. The album opens in a spectacular way with one of my favourite un released Stereophonics tracks. The track in question is “Roll Up And Shine”. A quiet first few seconds are disturbed in a big way by the guitars and the drums for a short introduction before the distinctive vocals of Mr Kelly Jones rip in and move the track forward. A very loud and medium paced song it really has your foot tapping and gets you singing along. The title track of sorts from the album as it includes the line Performance and Cocktails. “Roll Out The Shock Parade, Free falling from a stage” Next up we have the first single taken from the album, “Bartender And The Thief”. The video was suppose to be a remake of a scene from Apocalypse Now, and actually worked very well. The track itself starts in a similar way to the last track and is pretty much the same pace with the guitars and drums playing loud, but the vocals are sped up just a touch. Another great sing along track that really gets the album off to a flying start. “ The Bartender and the Thief are lovers, Steal what they need like Sisters and brothers” Another single follows and this time a much slo
            wer track, “Hurry Up And Wait”, is one of those mellow tracks you never get tired of hearing. It starts with a slow guitar before Kelly comes in with the vocals and a quiet drum beat in the background that you can hardly hear. It builds a little the further into the song you go and really this is a track that gets you thinking about things. The lyrics are superb and Kelly pulls off the vocals with a certain degree of class that you can’t really imagine from anyone else. “So hurry up and wait, but what’s worth waiting for?” Moving on again we come to probably the best song on the album, but that’s probably got more to do with the Italian Job style video they did for it. Of course the song is “Pick A Part That’s New”. It picks up the pace from the last track and starts with the guitar and a simple drumbeat in the background before it gets a bit louder, for a short introduction before Kelly’s vocals come in. The beat is kept throughout and really makes the song, as the guitars fall in around it accompanying the vocals well and really making something worth listening to. “People drinking on their own, push buttons on the phone” So for the fourth song in a row we have another single. This time the much mellower “Just Looking“, which I’m sure if it was any mellower would be asleep. It starts with the guitar building up out of the silence before Kelly comes in with a low drawn out vocal, as the song really starts to get going. After the first verse before the chorus, the drums come in with a slow steady beat building up a bit before it gets going a bit for the chorus, where the song comes to live for a short time. After the short burst for the chorus it returns to a similar way to the end of the first verse. The vocals are again sounding superb and Kelly really can do any type of song. “Do I want the perfect wife the wor
            d perfect ain’t quite right, Shopping everyday take it back the next break” The next song is a lot more upbeat, in a similar vane to the opening to tracks, this is a much louder rock track, “Half The Lies You Tell Ain’t True”. It builds quickly out of the silence again with the guitars quickly leading into the vocals and the drumbeat. This is one of those tracks you listen to love but don’t actually have any idea what its called. The beat carries on well throughout with the vocals varied from the last track, and sounding a bit more at home on a louder track. “But when you rely on a lie that’s true, and no one believes in the things you do” Next up we have the last song used as a single from this album, “I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio”, another great chart/indie song. It starts with a steady drum beat and Stuart Cable counting in before the guitars join the drum beat for a longer intro than with the last few songs. When the vocals come in they sound exactly as you expect, not quite mellow but not exactly live and rocking either. The wide variety of styles Kelly can pull off really does help the album to sound more like a complete album, than it may have done with simply one style of song. “I wouldn’t believe your wireless radio, if I had myself a flying giraffe, you’d have one in a box with a window” Another one of my favourite Phonics tracks has to be “T-shirt suntan”. I can’t even think why I like it, it just seems to be a song that is ideal in summer. It starts with the bass and guitar before the drums come in and the vocals very quickly afterwards. The drum and guitars really hold the song together well, with simple beat and a good easy going sound. The vocals are again superb and a lot of thought has gone into the lyrics for all the tracks. “It’s when all the phrases c
            ome around, the clothes you wear the sex and love” So into the home stretch with only 5 more songs to go we move on to “Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today?”. A very slow start that really was expected. The drums and guitars make what is almost a depressing mood but still somehow seems to make you enjoy the song and not really think to much about the tone of the lyrics. Loud drumbeats really add a bit of tension to the song, whilst mixed with Kelly’s vocals really make this into a quality song. “Is yesterday, tomorrow, today? Is nothin’ gonna change the way? Another mellow track follows with “A Minute Longer”, which really signifies the middle of a slower mellower part of the album. Starts with Kelly’s vocal accompanied by the guitar quietly for the introduction before the drums come in for the chorus, and really drown everything else out. probably the weakest track on the album. “They’re calling out, come on lets go, but I’m miles away to a year before” With only three tracks to go we come to “She Takes Her Clothes Off“. A kind of comical song about a woman who despite her age still likes to take her clothes off where ever she can. Its another mellow track that drifts past without you really thinking about it. The vocals are good again and the lyrics have been written in a similar way to Too Many Sandwiches on Word Gets Around. “She loved to have her little fantasies, she longed to be the wife of Jimmy Dean” Picking up the pace for the second to last song is “Plastic California” another superb song that lifts the album back towards where it started. Starting with a slow guitar and drum combination before the vocals come in, Stuart Cable keeps the beat going nicely on the drums and Richard Jones on Bass really accentuates Kelly’s vocals. Maybe a bit more easy going t
            han the first couple but it does build more as the song goes on and lifts away from the mellow tracks that are on either side of it. “Gin stroke amnesia problems, overhearing talk of Hollywood, we wish we could ya should” Onto the last track we go and its almost another comedy song, “I Stopped To Fill My Car Up”. It’s a bit like when you meet a guy down the pub that you know is lying with the story he’s telling but you sit and listen to him anyway. The song is very slow and drifts along nicely with a piano accompaniment. The song is quite a good one nice and mellow with the pace of the vocals picking up towards the middle for the chorus, before the drums come in to accompany the piano and vocals. “And then I looked up, And looked in the mirror behind me” Well there we go that is the Stereophonics second album available from all good record stores, especially from WWW.CD-wow.com for £8.99. Hope you enjoy even if you only nick a few tracks from Kazaa. Band: Kelly Jones; Vocals and Guitar Richard Jones; Bass Stuart Cable; Drums. Cheers Andy

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              19.07.2002 16:41
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              The Stereophonics, the boys from the Welsh valleys hit the big time with their first recording ‘Word Gets Around’. This is their second ever album released in 1999, and it is more than a match for a follow up. I would always give the Stereophonics a lot of time. They are hardly manufactured; just some lads that could play and sing that have known each other for years coming from a poor area. They are talented people in the three-piece band, with Kelly Jones the stand out front man. They also manage to behave themselves impeccably and keep off the tabloids pages. The manage themselves well and have come up trumps here to prove they are one of the best at the time of the release and no flash in the pan. The album opens with ‘Roll up and Shine’. This is a good opener with a very loud introduction, which has some of the distinctive vocals of Kelly Jones almost immediately. It is not an excellent track, but a good build up and plenty of guitars to keep going. Second is the much better ‘Bartender and the Thief’. This is my favourite track off the album and probably the best ever from them. Much more pace and fast flowing lyrics to this one as well as the loud and alive guitars. Great energy and a good message behind as it narrates a story of two con people. Excellent ‘Hurry up and Wait’ is a real change down several gears in speed. Slower and of great quality, showing how deep they can go and the variety within. Asking a question ‘hurry up and wait, but what’s worth waiting for’. Good title for the song and great lyrics written by them. A change right back up again with ‘Pick a Part that’s New’ which is a pure rock song and very good. Fast moving with excellent guitars that have left a mark on many of these tracks. Great video as well with an Italian Job makeover. ‘Just Looking’ really shows up Kelly Jones as an excellent singer. The vocals
              are the stand out feature of this track. Top quality music as well as excellent lyrics and just stand out despite being much slower paced. ‘Half the Lies you tell Ain’t True’ the title makes you think, and the rest of the lyrics are not bad either. The song has some very heavy guitars on it in the background and keeps moving well. The chorus is the best big which has a good rhythm and nice feel to it. ‘I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio’ is another sort of track that stands out simply for the vocals and the lyrics. A simple and smooth song that is easy to get into, and lovely lyrics. The next track is ‘T-Shirt Suntan’ is a more guitar driven song and again Kelly’s vocals stand above these. Not really a memorable song, but the guitars are good and it comes really to life in the chorus and is far from bad. ‘Is Yesterday, Tomorrow Today’ is another change in pace as a slower ride and ends up as a powerful emotional song in places. ‘A Minute Longer’ is another vocal effort with excellent lyrics behind the voice. ‘She Takes her Clothes Off’ is an acoustic song and is telling the story of a woman and the lyrics really being very good. ‘Plastic California’ and ‘ I stopped to Fill up my Car’ end off the album and both are less impressive than other tracks, though good enough fillers. Overall this is my favourite offering from the Stereophonics. There are some really excellent tracks here and very few poor ones. I am not as keen on their latest album, this for me remains the best.

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                31.03.2002 01:19
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                Stereophonics are a welsh rock band who have had 3albums.There first "Word Gets Around" caused a stir with its content of foot-tapping tunes." Album2 this one sees the band broadening their horizons and cranking up the guitars. Stereophonics really came to prominence with this album which put them in the big league-They filled the void left in this music sphere when Oasis and Blur went missing from the scene. Im not a huge fan of the Phonics as they seem to come across as stadium-friendly and intent on pleasing others however theres no doubting the quality of this release. Gravel-voiced Kelly Jones and the boys certainly have a knack of capturing the imagination with a chorus and theres plenty of evidence of that here. Theres four hit singles included and lots more quality on top of that to boot. Track1 "Roll up and shine" gets the album off to a good start with its pacy guitar intro and Jones's(Rod Stewart like) voice igniting the atmosphere. Another quality tune follows in "Bartender and the thief" which charted and deservedly so-another pacy track with an incredibly addictive chorus.Its a feel good song even though its difficult to understand what hes singing about!! "Hurry up and wait" has a much slower tempo but is just as good as the 2before.Jones is in a much more reflective mood here. "Pick a part thats new" was also a hit and is another slower tempo number.This is another good example of the chorus chanting, theyre famous for. In a lop-sided feel to the album "Just looking" yet another hit comes along and is my favourite of the bunch-a slow starter Jones gravelly-voice is seen to good effect here.I dare you not to sing along to this one while driving along. Track7 "Wouldnt believe your radio" the last song released from this album (achievi
                ng modest success) is also the phonics at there foot tapping best. The other six tracks are album fillers with "T-shirt suntan" showing an easy to love melodic side to them. "She takes her clothes off" complete with amusing lyrics and the disturbing "I stopped to fill my car up" finish the album. Those last3 mentioned show the lads are idea laden and capable of pursuing new directions which they have done with album3. Kelly is an excellent frontman,very likeable and cheeky and that shines through. The band although considered a rock band im sure has a bit of pop thrown in there and will appeal to many different agegroups including my dad which disturbs me!! This album is perfect for any occasion,well put together,a good mixture and well produced(nice front cover too).It is undoubtedly the Phonics finest work and i recommend wholly.

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                  26.01.2002 01:59
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                  The 8th of March 1999 was a very special day for the Stereophonics. This day saw the release of their 2nd and by far the best album to date. The Stereophonics are a very special band who formed many years ago under the name of 'Tragic Love Company' but then stole the name from lead singer Kelly Jones' dads gramophone. It was called a monophonic but now with the band playing in full stereo they decided to name themselves the Stereophonics. The were the band that the nineties were waiting for, a group of normal people, who actually knew each other, who didn't get drunk every weekend throw furniture out of hotel windows or attack air stewardesses. All of the above was being taken care of by the musically not mentally gifted Oasis who balanced their fantastic song writing and playing abilities with the skill of not being able to visit a place without starting a riot. The Stereophonics have remained to this day one of the most grounded Rock bands in history. They seem to have a skill of being able to avoid trouble and keep themselves to themselves. Kelly Jones isn't in the paper every week, or caught telling people that smoking pot is OK. He's just a normal guy from Wales and with his other two normal welsh guy friends he made an album. The album was not normal and it was called 'Performance and Cocktails' and it was the songs from this album that made the Stereophonics what they are today. The album kicks off with a slow build up into the fantastically loud 'Roll up and Shine' which is an excellent start to the album. An excellent raw and gritty track which really sets the scene for a very diverse album that was the soundtrack to my year. Next up is the track that made them famous. 'Bartender' is the story of a man and a woman who rip off the people of whichever town they are in and then move on. A track with fantastic energy that never dies down even after you have heard it as many times as I have. The tune of 1999 as far as I am
                  concerned this track is my favourite on the album and is even better live. 'Hurry up and wait' is a much slower track and this is where the album really starts to show its pedigree and the contrasts within it. It has a very different sound which makes the album a lot more complete. There are too many rock albums where all of the tracks sound the same but with the Stereophonics huge range of influences it would be very hard for them to follow this routine. The track is a lot slower and the focus is much more upon the vocal but Kelly stands up to this challenge well and his voice has matured to be able to handle this with ease. Up next is 'Pick a part that's new?, an excellent track that has the best video out of all of the singles released so far. The video is an Italian Job remake which is funny but also matches the song perfectly with its slightly ironic lyrics. Other highlights include the fantastic ?Just Looking? which really shows Kelly Jones to be one of the best male vocalists around at the moment as well as the moving 'A Minute longer' and 'She takes her clothes off'? which really are very thought provoking in their lyrics. The confusing 'Stopped to fill my car up' and excellent 'I wouldn't believe your radio' top off an album crafted with care and played to death all over the world. Stereophonics. Well done.

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                    04.10.2001 18:48
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                    This album never fails: its always simply brilliant, from the happy, not too heavy not too soft 'Pick A Part That's New' to the pub rocker 'T-Shirt Suntan' to the fast, up-tempo rock of 'Roll Up And Shine', 'Half Of The Lies You Tell Ain't True' and 'The Bartender And The Thief' to the introspective 'A Minute Longer', 'Hurry Up And Wait' and 'Yesterday Tommorow Today' to the build up of 'Just Looking' to the acoustic happy sounds of 'I Wouldn't Believe Your Wireless Radio' and 'She Takes Her Clothes' off to the simple indie rock of 'Plastic California' to the closing chilling 'I Stopped To Fill My Car Up'. That's all of them. I can't find fault in any of them. The instant hitters are 'Pick A Part That's New', 'T-Shirt Suntan' etc. but in the end it is tracks like the simply beautiful 'Yesterday Tommorow Today' and 'Plastic California' that are best. People say this album trails off at the end but actually tracks 9-13 are undiscovered wonders: not instant hitters like 1-8 but beautiful songs. Lyrically the album is not particularly mature and deep: indeed Jones does not wish to be philiosopical: leave that to Nicky Wire, Thom Yorke et al. Instead we simply encounter simple subjects. Not that this is a bad thing: its refreshing, I feel like I know what the guy is talking about contrary to some lyrics which are meant to be angst and meaningful but make no sense to me: see JJ72's 'Broken Down' in which the first line is 'Pasta machine broke down by the weed in the field'. And please don't tell me that has deep hidden significance. 'A Minute Longer' is written about moving and I related to it. 'I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio' is about a situation in which Jone dies in a crash 'in a tunnel under sea'- not that Jones could possibly be r
                    eferring to the Eurostar- and he uses the situation to demonstrate this person's want have everything ('If I had myself a flying giraffe, you'd have one in a box, with a window') and talks about his inheritance ('But you can have it all it you like') before adding ironically 'And you can pay for it the rest of your life'. Yet these two songs are the most profound: the lesser include 'T-Shirt Suntan' which is a kind of teen song because its all about introducing two people, its like Blind Date lyrics meet pub rock music. Perhaps the only bad thing about this album is it will pathe the way for a new album of 'lyrically depth', wailing in angst, and acoustic guitars and dance elements replacing the rock core of the band: see OK Computer after The Bends, This Is My Truth Tell Be Yours after Everything Must Go, Be Here Now after Definately Maybe etc. Hope I'm wrong!

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                      26.09.2001 00:34
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                      This album never fails: its always simply brilliant, from the happy, not too heavy not too soft 'Pick A Part That's New' to the pub rocker 'T-Shirt Suntan' to the fast, up-tempo rock of 'Roll Up And Shine', 'Half Of The Lies You Tell Ain't True' and 'The Bartender And The Thief' to the introspective 'A Minute Longer', 'Hurry Up And Wait' and 'Yesterday Tommorow Today' to the build up of 'Just Looking' to the acoustic happy sounds of 'I Wouldn't Believe Your Wireless Radio' and 'She Takes Her Clothes' off to the simple indie rock of 'Plastic California' to the closing chilling 'I Stopped To Fill My Car Up'. That's all of them. I can't find fault in any of them. The instant hitters are 'Pick A Part That's New', 'T-Shirt Suntan' etc. but in the end it is tracks like the simply beautiful 'Yesterday Tommorow Today' and 'Plastic California' that are best. People say this album trails off at the end but actually tracks 9-13 are undiscovered wonders: not instant hitters like 1-8 but beautiful songs. Lyrically the album is not particularly mature and deep: indeed Jones does not wish to be philiosopical: leave that to Nicky Wire, Thom Yorke et al. Instead we simply encounter simple subjects. Not that this is a bad thing: its refreshing, I feel like I know what the guy is talking about contrary to some lyrics which are meant to be angst and meaningful but make no sense to me: see JJ72's 'Broken Down' in which the first line is 'Pasta machine broke down by the weed in the field'. And please don't tell me that has deep hidden significance. 'A Minute Longer' is written about moving and I related to it. 'I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio' is about a situation in which Jone dies in a crash 'in a tunnel under sea'- not that Jones could possibly be r
                      eferring to the Eurostar- and he uses the situation to demonstrate this person's want have everything ('If I had myself a flying giraffe, you'd have one in a box, with a window') and talks about his inheritance ('But you can have it all it you like') before adding ironically 'And you can pay for it the rest of your life'. Yet these two songs are the most profound: the lesser include 'T-Shirt Suntan' which is a kind of teen song because its all about introducing two people, its like Blind Date lyrics meet pub rock music. Perhaps the only bad thing about this album is it will pathe the way for a new album of 'lyrically depth', wailing in angst, and acoustic guitars and dance elements replacing the rock core of the band: see OK Computer after The Bends, This Is My Truth Tell Be Yours after Everything Must Go, Be Here Now after Definately Maybe etc. Hope I'm wrong!

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                        16.08.2001 04:06
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                        Back on the 8th March 1999 Stereophonics released a much anticipated second album but by this time I already had a copy and had penned a less than complimentary review (alas this 150 word piece of concise/poor reviewing is now lost amongst the Barefacts archives). I really liked the Stereophonics debut album 'Word Gets Around' (I've said as much on here) and was impressed by the single 'The Bartender and The Thief so upon getting my hands on an advance copy I was most happy. On the very first listen my smile gave way to a frown on the realisation that they'd not substantially moved on and had managed to release an album of unmemorable tracks. 'Roll Up and Shine' all starts with great promise, that being that it sounds like the beginning of a Man Or Astro-Man track but then it gave way to a wall of quite tuneful guitar and Kelly Jones whines some vocals on top. With him shrieking "Why don't you take a look around" but with this album I'm not sure I'm going to want to. 'The Bartender and The Thief was a the first (and best) single off this album. The song is pacey and rocky (rockier than anything off the first album). The whole thing rattles onward unstoppably with the whole thing under three minutes. The guitar has a slightly quirky quality and the lyric which just sticks in your head "the bartender and the thief are lover ...'. 'Hurry Up and Wait' slow the pace and you feel that the band have been leashed throughout the song as the vocals drone on and on. 'Pick a Part That's New' is more alive with a generic Stereophonic's tune going in the background. The vocals attempt to lift the track above mediocre but the lyrics just aren't interesting enough to sustain attention. 'Just Looking' is probably the second best song on here (i.e. one of the three which mean you don't have an overwhelming urge to switch it
                        off). Its shocking as all of a sudden they've managed to get a bit of interesting variation into a song with most of the song being quiet with choruses that rise up and flourish. 'Half the Lies You Ain't True', a fast paced noisy track. The verses are bland affairs with droning guitars to suit the vocals correctly. In some choruses there is a little variation to the guitars. Also in the middle there's a little intricate bit of filler. 'I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio' is not to bad a song. Its lazy paced which come across quite well but I feel it lyrically poor. 'T-Shirt Suntan', now I'm starting to lose the will to live. The ten seconds before the singing started sounds quite good with lots of possibilities. When the singing starts the whole thing suddenly feels flat and the guitar hardly alters with its continual fuzzy fall off for most of the four minutes. 'Is Yesterday Tomorrow Today?', some people can do slow sombre songs but not the Stereophonics. They have their quiet parts but then they decide to turn the volume up and you just want them to stop whining. 'A Minute Longer' is another slow one that is slightly better judged but they still seem to have a noise obsession. (I stayed a minute shorter and skipped to the next track) 'She Takes Her Clothes Off' is a bit better song but by this time my brain is starting to rot. It has more interesting instrumentals as they decided not to drone all the time. Its better vocally because the lyrics are more engaging, however you'll feel like they carry on singing the same bit over and over. 'Plastic California' starts drony, gets louder and drony, has even louder and drony bits and then it gets worst. A four and a half minute drone. 'I Stopped To Fill My Car Up', the first couple of minutes is just piano and vocals. Rather badly Kelly's vocals are showed
                        up by the piano and feel as rough as old boots. That was the good parts as when the drums come in you wonder how anyone can make a piano sound so bad. So on here is one good track, two listenable tracks and ten which are appallingly bad, this can therefore be given a justifiable one star rating. On the bright side I've paid penance for any sins I've committed recently, in listening to this again for the last time.

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                      • Product Details

                        Disc #1 Tracklisting
                        1 Roll Up And Shine
                        2 Bartender And The Thief
                        3 Hurry Up And Wait
                        4 Pick A Part That's New
                        5 Just Looking
                        6 Half The Lies You Tell Me Ain't True
                        7 I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio
                        8 T Shirt Sun Tan
                        9 Is Yesterday Tomorrow Today
                        10 Minute Longer
                        11 She Take Her Clothes Off
                        12 Plastic California
                        13 I Stopped To Fill My Car Up